How To Repair A Rattan Chair
How do you repair a rattan chair? How do you properly reweave a rush-style seat when it sags or breaks?
Rush is tough material that comes from the leaves of marshland plants. Its natural toughness gives furniture a great texture and color, but it is hard to work with. Natural rush also might be hard to find. If you cannot find it, you can buy imitation rush from a craft store. It is easier to handle. Either selection will make a great chair. You will need about 3 or 4 pounds of rush depending on the size of the chair. Make sure you have the rush, a hammer, upholstery tacks, a utility knife, a yardstick,and corrugated cardboard before you start.
1. Remove old rush
Make sure all the nails, tacks or staples that held the old rush in are removed from the chair. Take the old rush out, and clean the chair.
2. Prepare rush
Soak the rush in warm water until it is pliable. Do not let it soak so long it disintegrates.
3. Begin weaving
Tack the rush to the left rear rail, near the back post. Then, take the rush forward on top of the front rail, keeping it to the left side. Take it under the same rail, over the rush that is already there and to the left
rail. Take the rush over the rail, wrap it around underneath to the right rail. Again, cross the rail over the top, then underneath. When going underneath, cross the other piece of rush over the top, to cross over the
bottom right rail. Then, take the rush underneath the bottom right rail to the top right. Pass the rough over the top right rail, underneath the rail, and over the right, rail. Go underneath the right rail, to the left, top side, and repeat the pattern. You will need to repeat this pattern until the pattern is about 3 or 4 inches from each side.
4. Place cardboard
Then, take the cardboard and cut it in four triangles. These pieces need to fit easily within the square of your chair. Cut off the ends of the triangle so they are flat. You should be able to put the edges of the cardboard inside
the edges of the corners of the pattern you have already weaved. This should hold them in place, and give your chair extra support.
5. Continue Weave
Now continue weaving until the centers meet. Unless you have a perfectly square chair, the sides might meet before the middle. If this happens, tie a knot under the seat, and cut off the extra rush. Use this rush to continue weaving. Now just weave a figure 8 pattern over the front and back rails.
6. Tie knots
When you are done, pull the rush to the bottom of the chair. Then, turn the chair over. Tie the rush off with 2 or 3 tight knots. Then trim off the excess rush.
7. Dress seat
Finally dress the seat by using the yardstick to smooth out the edges. Press the yardstick on the corners of each rail. The rush will smooth, and you have a new seat.